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    Communication Marines facilitate 3/12’s command and control

    Communication Marines facilitate 3/12’s command and control

    Photo By Sgt. Erik Brooks | Pfc. Travon A. Lewis connects the guidelines on an OE antenna to the ground for...... read more read more



    Story by Lance Cpl. Erik Brooks 

    III Marine Expeditionary Force   

    CAMP FUJI, Japan - Immediately upon their arrival, wires spread out and antennas sprout from the ground like spring grass. These Marines set up critical communications assets to allow an artillery battalion to communicate.

    The communication Marines are with 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, participating in Artillery Relocation Training Program 11-3. They play the vital role of enabling the battalion to command and control its three firing batteries, facilitating its chief mission of providing fire support to the infantry.

    “Communications in the field is vital to the battalion’s operations,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel C. Duff, radio chief for Hotel Battery, 3rd Bn., 12th Marines. “Without communications, no one can talk to and coordinate with each other.”

    Duff’s main mission is to oversee the placement of the wires and radios.

    As part of the advance party, communications Marines get into the field first and instantly get to work.

    The Marines begin by conducting a security sweep of the area to make sure it is clear, said Lance Cpl. Alexander C. Perry, a wireman with the battalion. After the security sweep, the Marines scout their location to determine the best placement of the communications base.

    After the location is set, a Marine runs wires to each position, according to Perry.

    “I run standard slash wire to where each gun, commanding officer, executive officer and fire direction center will be,” Perry said. “This ensures that upon arrival they have communication with one another.”

    The total amount of wire manually laid on the ground to each position equals about 500 yards, Perry said.

    While the wires are being run, other communications Marines are setting up OE’s. These long antennas are the communication back to the battalion, regiment and Fire Support Coordination Center.

    “Setting up the 16 foot OEs is a difficult task,” Perry said. “Each one requires 10 poles, guide lines, a feed cone and a coaxial cable that connects to a Humvee.”

    Once the initial communications are set up, the Marines radio into regimental range control and the FSCC.

    “We call into them because we have to occupy the position for 24 hours before the battalion is allowed to fire downrange,” Perry said. “This is a requirement to get firing as soon as possible.”

    When in the field, the communication Marines’ main goal is to get all their communications gear up and running before anyone else arrives, Duff said.

    “Without us, the battalion can’t execute its main mission, which is to shoot the howitzers and provide support to the infantry,” Duff said.



    Date Taken: 11.18.2011
    Date Posted: 11.18.2011 02:12
    Story ID: 80206
    Location: CAMP FUJI, AICHI, JP

    Web Views: 172
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